Lisnagarvey High School

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Special Educational  Needs - Overview

Under the direction of the Special Needs Co-ordinator all teachers have a responsibility for the teaching of pupils with special educational needs.



Mrs J Harrison   – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

Mrs C Campbell – Deputy Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
                         & Exam Access Assessor

20 Classroom or General Assistants

Special Needs - A Definition

The term “special educational needs” or “SEN” is defined in relevant legislation as ‘a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made’.  ‘Learning difficulty’ means that a child has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of comparable age, or has a disability which hinders his or her use of the kind of facilities generally provided in mainstream schools.  ‘Special educational provision’ means educational provision which is different from or additional to, provision made generally for children of comparable age.

We recognise that the definition of SEN embraces a breadth of learning difficulties varying in type, duration and severity.  

We recognise that special educational needs can arise as a result of:

We Aim to:

Arising from the school aims the following are relevant to children with special educational needs:

Structure of SEN

The SEN Department adopts a staged approach as consistent with the Education Authority’s Code of Practice.  This is presently a five stage model but The Education Authority is in the process of changing this to a three stage model.  The three stage model will be implemented over the next few years from September 2019 onwards.


The Five Stage Model


Stage 1       Teachers identify and register a child’s SEN and, consulting the school’s SENCO, take initial action.


Stage 2       SENCO takes lead responsibility for co-ordinating the child’s special educational provision, working with the child’s teachers.

Stage 3       Teachers and SENCO are supported by specialists from outside the school.


Stage 4       The Education Authority considers the need for a statutory assessment and, if appropriate, makes a multi-disciplinary assessment.


Stage 5       The Education Authority considers the need for a statement of SEN; if appropriate, it makes  a statement and arranges, monitors and reviews provision.


Statements of special educational need are reviewed annually in consultation with parents, The Education Authority and other relevant agencies.